Taking Prescribed Medicines Abroad

Taking prescribed medications? This advice will take the worry out of taking prescribed medications abroad.

Many people with chronic medical conditions take regular prescription medications. This can cause them some anxiety when travelling abroad. Many countries, especially in the Middle East and Asia have strict drug laws and punishments for importing banned prescribed drugs lengthy prison sentences, corporal punishment and even execution may follow a guilty verdict. Knowing this everyone who needs to take medications should do some research specific to their own country and that to which they are travelling.

Luckily all countries recognize the need for those suffering with a chronic illness to take regular doses of legitimately prescribed medicines. And generally there are no customs or legal problems with importing these personal drugs. But some reasonable care is required when taking drugs abroad.

  • Get a GP/family doctor letter stating that you need to take the drugs and the reasons why,
  • Bring copies of the original prescription,
  • Keep the drugs in your carry on luggage,
  • Bring a sufficient amount to last your stay,
  • Add a further amount in case of unforeseen circumstances (like volcano eruptions, flight delays, airline strikes etc).
  • Keep the drugs in the boxes in which they were dispensed.
  • Make sure that the chemist/pharmacy label is clear and legible.

Drugs for Cancer and Prescribed Narcotics

However it is best to check with the relevant country embassy, immigration or customs service should you need to take anti-cancer drugs, narcotics or other scheduled or controlled drugs.

Again advice should be sought from the country’s embassy and/or immigration service if travelling with drugs like methadone.

How to Get Drug Refills Abroad

If a renewal of your prescription is needed while on holiday it is best to visit a reputable, international hospital; you’ll have to register as a patient at a private hospital (an international standard one is best).

Make an appointment to see a doctor so the drugs can be prescribed and dispensed.

If you need repeat prescriptions, take the original drug boxes or doctor’s prescription with you to the hospital. There will be a charge for this service and of course the medicine must be paid for.

Travel and Health Insurance

It’s also useful to register with your country’s embassy in Bangkok to give them the dates you will be there, where you will be staying, etc. It may be possible to register online or with your country’s foreign office before leaving your country.

Keep your travel insurance company informed if you need to see a doctor or visit a hospital. They all have 24-hour help lines and can offer advice.

It is essential that you take out adequate health/travel insurance and declare all pre-existing conditions or circumstances that may cause health problems while abroad. Check the insurance terms, conditions and policy carefully as admission and treatment to a private hospital in any country may prove to be very expensive.

Taking these measures will ease any natural anxiety you may feel when entering the foreign country.

Written by Jane, www.OptingHealth.com Editor